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Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants preview, Monday 8/7, 9:05 CT

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The Giants aren’t very good this year. Perhaps the Cubs can take advantage.

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Cubs’ 2-4 homestand, there are still some really positive numbers I can share with you as they begin an important western road trip:

  • The Cubs are 15-7 since the All-Star break. Only the Dodgers (18-3) have been better.
  • The Cubs’ 53 home runs since July 1 are the most in the National League and just one behind the Astros for the MLB lead.
  • Cubs starting pitchers have a 3.10 ERA (130⅔ innings, 45 earned runs), .207 opponents’ BA and 1.000 WHIP in the 22 games since the break. That’s an average of 5.94 innings per start, and the opponents’ BA and WHIP are the best in the major leaguers, while the 3.10 ERA trails only the Dodgers (2.83).
  • After this road trip, 31 of the Cubs’ final 46 games are within the N.L. Central, where the Cubs have the best intra-divisional record of any team in the division at 26-19. The Brewers are under .500 inside the Central at 23-24.
  • The Cubs’ 33-25 record since June 1 is second-best in the N.L. to the Dodgers’ amazing 46-11.

Feel better now?

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Zobrist 2B, Almora CF, Heyward RF, Baez SS, Arrieta P

Giants lineup:

Span CF, Panik 2B, Parker LF, Posey C, Sandoval 3B, Crawford SS, Jones 1B, Moncrief RF, Moore P

Jake Arrieta vs. Matt Moore

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Arrieta since July 1: 2.08 ERA, 0.846 WHIP in six starts covering 39 innings.

That’s almost as good as his great 2015 season, and each start seems to get more and more solid.

Jake has not faced the Giants this year, but last year in two regular-season starts he allowed three runs in 13 innings, with 15 strikeouts. And, of course you remember his home run in the division series at AT&T Park last October.

Also, Jake lifetime at AT&T: four starts, 2.08 ERA, 0.923 WHIP, 25 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Matt Moore threw six decent innings vs. the Cubs May 24 at Wrigley Field, but the Cubs won the game anyway, helped by two homers by Anthony Rizzo off Moore. In fact, that was one of his better starts in a down year. He’s been a bit better since the All-Star break, but “better” is a 4.81 ERA instead of being over 6.00.

He’s not anything like the guy who shut the Cubs down for eight innings in Game 4 of the division series last year. And for the Cubs, that’s a good thing.

Today's game is on WGN. It’s also on ESPN, with a full national telecast (no blackouts).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.